‘How and Why: Tips for Starting an English Conversation Club’ by Emily K. Iekel

There are many excellent reasons for starting a conversation club for English learners. Here are just a few:

1. To help ESL and EFL students practice their conversation skills outside the classroom.

Classroom learning is a wonderful thing, but with new or foreign languages, outside practice is essential for reinforcement of language concepts, especially spoken language. Even ELL (English Language Learners) who read and write fairly well may be less confident in their speaking abilities, and even ELL who speak fairly well may still need some extra practice to overcome common language-learning errors such as interference—using the structure of their first language with an English sentence—which may not always be grammatically correct (Bryce and McKibbin).

2. To give native speakers of English the opportunity to engage in community service and learn more about other cultures.

An English conversation club is a wonderful opportunity for native speakers to benefit their communities by helping struggling learners of English. It is a particular chance for students who may have school service requirements to fulfill, but can also provide the opportunity for native speakers of any age and state in life to familiarize themselves with aspects of other cultures. It benefits not only the instructor, who may be starting the club as a job or a form of service, but any native speakers he or she may ask to join in order to help members practice and learn. [Read more…]